SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — So it’s not exactly an elf. It’s more of a beast. And if you are naughty, getting a lump of coal is the least of your problems.
Krampus. The National Geographic in 2018 described this creature from European folklore as a half-demon, half-goat beast with fangs and horns.
The Smithsonian Magazine said in 2015 the name Krampus originates from the German word “krampen, which means “claw,” and tradition has it that he is the son of the Norse god of the underworld, Hel.”
And Krampus, was known for hunting down naughty children.
The Catholic Church attempted to ban references to Krampus in the 12th Century but failed, according to the Smithsonian.
And the dreadful creature eventually became associated with St. Nicholas, the guy before Santa Claus.
So, in Austria and Germany, Krampus is the creature that accompanies St. Nicholas when the saint delivers presents on Dec. 5 and 6, according to History.com.
Krampus beat naughty kids with sticks and twigs, according to history websites. Some say even getting dragged to hell was a possibility.
The frightening creature may not be associated much with Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Still, it spookiness lingers.
Krampus is the been the subject of a 2015 horror movie. And festivals that celebrate or acknowledge Krampus are held throughout Europe and in the U.S.